Friday, March 31, 2023
Home Technology PopGrip JumpStart review: what if a battery bank were also a PopSocket?

PopGrip JumpStart review: what if a battery bank were also a PopSocket?

We’re smack in the course of new phone season and getting near the time when a few of us are going to have to begin worrying about wish lists and stocking stuffers, so I need to have a look at an adjunct which may be on some individuals’s radar: the PopGrip JumpStart, a $35 battery financial institution that attaches to your telephone by way of PopSocket’s fast launch mechanism and offers round a 50 % cost by way of a built-in Lightning or USB-C cable.

Once I first heard about it, I hoped that the JumpStart could be each an excellent battery financial institution and a great way to carry my telephone. Sadly, I discovered that it was comparatively mediocre on the first job and worse on the second, making it a bit unclear who precisely this product is for.

Image of a phone with a PopGrip JumpStart attached to the back.


PopSockets’ 2200 mAh battery financial institution that attaches to the again of your telephone, and that can be utilized as a grip.

I’ll say a number of good issues earlier than I actually dig in, although. The JumpStart is a really good object, fabricated from a textured plastic formed into a bit of ovular puck with the basic PopSocket sleeve on the again. On the highest of the puck is a single button, which you click on to begin charging and which has a lightweight that acts as an influence indicator.

While you connect it to PopMount 2 merchandise (aka those with the replaceable tops), it clicks into the mount with a satisfying sound. Nonetheless, when you pop it out, it spins freely, so the puck can find yourself perpendicular to your telephone. I couldn’t work out any use for it doing this; it’s far too distinguished to behave as a kickstand, and it doesn’t actually change the expertise should you’re holding your telephone in panorama as a substitute of portrait. The one factor the spinning did was annoy me and infrequently detach the JumpStart from the telephone.

Image showing the JumpStart’s integrated Lightning cable, which has been slightly removed from its holder.

The built-in cable is about nearly as good because it could possibly be.
Photograph by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

The built-in Lightning or USB-C cable (you purchase it with one or the opposite) is round seven inches lengthy and feels surprisingly sturdy. I’d anticipated that it might come free and flop out of its slot, however that didn’t turn into the case in any respect. If something, it’s nearly a bit too troublesome to deploy; I actually needed to dig my nails in and pull. However whereas I’m comfortable PopSockets is utilizing an excellent cable, I actually want the JumpStart simply used wi-fi charging, like different mountable battery banks from Anker, Otterbox, and Apple.

In principle, the built-in cable would make the JumpStart extra handy than having to hold round an exterior battery financial institution and corresponding twine, however I truthfully discovered myself wishing I had gone with the latter answer at any time when I used to be simply attempting to make use of my telephone. The JumpStart’s bulk made it troublesome to get my telephone out and in of my pocket (an issue that’s even worse once you’ve bought the cable plugged in), and it made the telephone very uncomfortable to carry, even once I was utilizing it like a large PopSocket.


The JumpStart provides fairly a little bit of bulk to your telephone — that’s at all times the case once you add additional battery, however this manner issue feels significantly inelegant.
Photograph by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

The plain answer is to simply take the JumpStart off once I’m not utilizing it and put up with the more severe ergonomics whereas I’m charging. The issue with that’s that it severely cuts down on the comfort issue as a result of it means I’ve to hold the JumpStart round with me in both a pocket, bag, or purse if I need to use it once I discover myself operating low on juice. And if I’ve to hold one thing exterior round in any case, I’d in all probability need to go together with one thing that would present a bit extra energy.

In keeping with PopSockets’ website, the JumpStart has roughly 2,200mAh of capability. In my testing, that was sufficient energy to take my telephone from round 15 % cost to round 80 % (there was one outlier the place it solely managed to spice up my telephone by 40 %, however that was a worst-case state of affairs the place I used to be utilizing GPS whereas charging within the chilly). Your mileage could fluctuate, although, as a result of my iPhone Mini 12 has an itsy-bitsy battery. I don’t count on you’d get as many proportion factors with a bigger telephone.

To be clear, that’s positively sufficient energy to get you out of a jam should you all of the sudden end up with a lifeless battery. However personally, it is simply not well worth the annoyance of both having to maintain monitor of the JumpStart or attempting to make use of my telephone with a cumbersome spinny factor on the again. That’s very true since my telephone helps MagSafe, which means I might use Anker’s $50 wireless charging battery bank with over double the capability — there’s even a version with a built-in PopSocket, although that does price extra.

Image of the JumpStart’s USB-C port, with the accessory extended into the holding position.

I recognize the USB-C and passthrough charging — however I don’t recognize how a lot the JumpStart swivels round once I’m attempting to make use of it.
Photograph by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

I do assume the mix of an excessive amount of bulk to be comfy whereas not being cumbersome sufficient to actually cost up your telephone is form of a disgrace as a result of PopSockets clearly put some effort into this factor. Irrespective of which model you get, you cost the JumpStart by way of USB-C, a boon for anybody who’s irritated at Apple for sticking with Lightning on its phones. It additionally helps passthrough charging, which means it may cost your telephone whereas it is plugged into the wall — I’ve two devoted energy banks from Anker and Mophie that don’t have that characteristic.

On the high, I mentioned I’m not fairly certain who that is for. The one exception is somebody completely devoted to the PopSocket life-style who can’t dwell with no grip on the again of their telephone and who both doesn’t need to use MagSafe or has a telephone with out it (aka the Android telephones PopSockets targets with the USB-C model of the accent). However I feel anybody else will in all probability need to have a look at different, extra conventional battery banks or go together with the even newer magnetic tech.

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